Living in a foreign country can be difficult at times but also can be the best experience of your life. Be it on a week’s holiday or a one to three year job placement as an English teacher.
For those that only experience Japan for a year or so do they really become experts in the country they visited as a guest over those that have adopted it as their home?
I have been here now for over seven years and I have made Japan my home. My life is one hundred percent dedicated to this country as I have a wife, children, a mortgage and even a business. These things alone prevent me from up and leaving if I wanted too.
Now back to the question; do I now have the right to be an expert on everything that is Japan?
The answer to this question is not as simple as you might think and for me I would place myself in the group of “I know a little” about Japan than an expert. I’m not doing this to make myself seem not-big headed as the truth is I don’t know jack about the Japan and most of what I’ve learned has come whilst I’ve been here. I never took an interest in Japanese history, anime or anything Japanese before I came and if you ask me something in regards to pop-culture I will just shrug my shoulders in response.
Now here comes my problem; Japanese know it all’s.
Over the years these people haven’t really bothered me but now they are coming in droves and I don’t know why.
Perhaps there where was less of them or perhaps as I’m more active in the social world of things I have started noticed it more but the most shocking thing to happen to me was having a debate that started off with insults and then ending with me being called a liar.
I will list a few of the things that get me in a pickle and start flame wars that can go on forever and invite groups of the same type of people;
1) A different opinion
This is the biggest problem that I encounter and has led to me being insulted and even called a liar when I just stated my opinion on something that I believe or have watched on Japanese TV. The end result of such a fiasco resulted in me being left stunned and losing an online-expat-friend.
2) Over the top all-things-Japanese-lovers
Well this is no surprise as these types of people have been in my face for years and if I say anything negative about Japan then it’s full on war. These types of people have probably never visited Japan and if they have they might have stayed only a few weeks of more.
3) It happens all around the world quotes
Yes, this is true but the topic that is being discussed is based in Japan and the site that you have visited is about Japan.
4) Why you eating McDonalds or anything else that is foreign food!
Good god this grates me the most! I eat Japanese cuisine 24/7 as my wife is Japanese and she cooks, even my in-laws cook for me so if I want to eat McDs or Fish & Chips is it really the end of the world?
5) Anime Lovers who are know it all’s
This fits in with numbers 1 and 2 but I find them more aggressive and these types of people will start a revolution if you question or even correct them.
6) Visitors to Japanese News/Media sites that always complain that there is too much negativity and not enough sunshine and roses to advertise Japan.
These types of people I don’t understand as the sites they seem to choose to complain about on are media sites. Websites that offer all news on every aspect of Japanese life be it positive or negative. If they wanted an advertisement board about how wonderful Japan is wouldn’t it be best to go to Japan-Guide or even a travel website?
7) If you don’t like it then you should return to your own country
Perhaps this should have been my number one choice but this quote has been happening less to me as I haven’t bothered to share my bad days. Like most people in the world I have had good days and I have had bad days, very bad days, and once I used to record my troubles and place them up on YouTube and the funny thing was that I got the complaints as expected. But then I got comments that said “If you don’t like it then go back to your own country”. Am I not allowed to have bad days in Japan? Am I not allowed to list the entire racist and stuck up experiences I have had running my business where my customers are the Japanese themselves?
Now the list can go on but at this point of time these are the ones that are grating at me and as I float around the internet I notice these experiences are not just circled around me but with other bloggers and even video-loggers as well. I have noticed that a lot of these bloggers have to put up the safety nets to save them from the insults if they’re going to talk about something that is negative or just an opinion that is different to what these people have.
To end this post I ask other expats that are living here in Japan on their experiences and how they have dealt with the types of people that I have written about above?